Maps have a particular power to make visible what is invisible but there are stories that aren’t necessarily visually obvious and that is Unruly Places.
I don’t like books with choppy, short chapters generally but Unruly Places lends itself to short articles about places along a general theme. The book has several themes and within each theme are short chapters about places following that theme. The book’s subtitle is precisely clear about what sorts of places you’ll be exploring.
This is a love note to place through the idea that there is no such thing as neat and tidy geography because people need “place” in order to have identity. Which is to say that territories are sliced and diced or absorbed and expanded in ways which reflect the people’s of the regions and how they envision themselves. Alastair Bonnett makes clear that this does not always conform to empire building or resistance. Sometimes people don’t want to add to their little slice of a map. Some places aren’t considered worthy of attention and thus become blanks on a map.
Unruly Places is as much about geography as it is philosophy and psychology. Bonnett’s voice narrates a wondrous adventure through places that feel alien and familiar. I cannot wait to read this again!